Caffè Vero | The Strongest Coffee of My Life
March Mornings in Lake George
To celebrate Jamie's birthday, we spent a few days in Lake George.
The streets were empty and most of the shops were closed. But the fog off the top of the mountains on the 40-degree morning engulfed the town in a beautiful grey filter.
We parked on Beach Street, in the Around the World Golf Course parking lot. I dropped my blanket-scarf on my seat and jumped out onto the sidewalk.
The town was deserted.
I stretched my legs as I looked around. One woman with a fat, golden retriever walked the sidewalk. The dog mosied by her side, leashless. I tried to pet him as I crossed the street but decided not to be that guy.
Walking parallel to the lake, we could see the stony bottom close to the shoreline. The steamboats rested at the docks. Toward the middle of the lake, one man teetered across the surface of the ice as he checked his fishing lines.
The air was still and cool, so different from the arctic weather we experienced during New Years.
We took photographs of the mountains and lake until my stomach protested for breakfast. We headed to our new spot, the Prospect Mountain Diner.
Adventuring to the new Caffè Vero
After our breakfast of pancakes and waffles, we drove up Canada Street to visit the new Caffè Vero.
Caffè Vero used to be near the diner, in a log-style building. They had a great stone fireplace and large dining room. During our New Year's trip, we found that they were moving uptown, closer to all of the Lake George shops.
We parked on the corner of Canada and Montcalm Street. Caffè Vero's new location is the corner of what used to be an Italian restaurant. The front windows look out over Shepard Park, towards the lake.
A Modern Update
When we first entered Caffè Vero, my attention went to the pastry case lit-up with scones and muffins.
Down the right-side of the room, a dark wood counter with granite held the coffee machines. Behind the counter, two waitresses crafted drinks: "Sit wherever you like!"
The left-hand side of the room was a step up and shaped like a long rectangle. The outer edges were framed with leather booths. Tables for 4 went down the center of the room.
Despite the dark carpet and rich colors, the grid-paned windows on all the walls brightened the space with natural light.
I'm about the booth-life
As a fan of diner-culture, I prefer to sit in booths. The ones along the window looked perfect. However, we were unsure if we were allowed to take up a booth to work on our laptops.
We decided to sit at the bar-top tables on the right side of the room, near the coffee counter.
Nearby, Caffè Vero coffee cups and sweatshirts hung from their displays. I could see into the kitchen's food window. Two female chefs lined breakfast plates along the lip.
I like to people-watch when I travel.
Many locals stopped at Caffè Vero to get their morning coffee: painters and construction workers, young people dressed in business casual, a dude in shorts and a t-shirt (40-degrees feels like summer compared to winters in Lake George).
Although there's a Starbucks in the Marriott at the end of Canada Street, Caffè Vero had a lot of foot-traffic. I was excited to try their coffee.
The Strongest Coffee of my Life
Despite having a cup of coffee at the diner, I ordered a cappuccino.
My cappuccino came out in a standard mug. I believe it cost $2.95. It was boiling hot, which was wonderful.
Bold & Rich Flavors
What makes Caffè Vero noteworthy, is that they grind their beans on location.
Around the corners of the room are large, cream-colored canvas bags. At first, we thought they were filled with stuffing for decoration, but they're actually filled with coffee beans! We watched them pour the beans from the bags into their industrial coffee grinder.
This was a good sign: fresh ground beans would make for amazing coffee!
When I took a sip I literally shivered. It was such strong and bold espresso that I had a cartoon moment; ping, I'm awake!
Jamie ordered a black tea with milk and it came in a colossal mug. It was beautiful.
Pastries at Caffè Vero
On the last morning of our trip, we popped in for something quick before driving back home. This time, we sat in the last booth near the coffee grinder.
Though they offer bagels, pancakes, and other breakfast foods, I didn't want a heavy meal before a long car ride. I ordered a coffee and croissant (another tradition of mine), while Jamie got a strawberry smoothie.
Caffè Vero also makes their own pastries on site, like this spectacular, buttery croissant. My coffee came in the colossal mug that Jamie's tea came in. Both were fabulous.
Carefully crafted coffee, in-house desserts, and a hardworking staff are a few of the memorable pieces of Caffè Vero's charm.
What do you think of the new Caffè Vero?
I'll definitely head back to Caffè Vero the next time I'm in Lake George. I'd be interested in trying their breakfast menu, and seeing how it compares to the Prospect Mountain Diner.
Are you a Lake George local? Have you tried the new Caffè? Tell me about it in the comments!